Saturday, July 14, 2012

Instant analysis: Marlins 2, Nats 1

US Presswire photo
Ryan Zimmerman doubled in the first inning but didn't collect another hit.
Game in a nutshell: This figured to be tightly contested pitchers' duel, with lefties Gio Gonzalez and Mark Buehrle each known for working fast and throwing strikes. Each starter lived up to the billing, but Buehrle was just a little bit better than his counterpart. The veteran southpaw allowed one run over seven innings, throwing a scant 86 pitches in the process. Gonzalez certainly pitched well enough to win -- two runs over six innings -- but he was done in by some effective small ball by the Marlins in the bottom of the fifth, producing the winning run. The Nats couldn't get a rally going against Miami's suspect bullpen and thus suffered a frustrating loss. Combined with the Braves' win over the Mets, their lead in the NL East is now down to 3 games.

Hitting lowlight: Just when you thought Michael Morse had rediscovered his peak form from last year, he stumbles out of the gates to open the second half. For the second straight night, the cleanup hitter went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, two of them called. Morse is at his best when he's able to drive outside pitches to right field. In these last two games, he hasn't been able to pull the trigger on those offerings, and he's paid the price for it.

Pitching highlight: It didn't take long to realize Gonzalez was going to be in top form for this game. His command was pinpoint (he didn't walk a batter) and his curveball had ridiculous break. It helped that umpire Eric Cooper consistently gave him the outside corner of the strike zone, but kuods to Gonzalez for taking advantage of it. He wound up striking out nine and at 93 pitches probably could have returned for the seventh inning. Manager Davey Johnson, though, said he wanted to take things easy on the lefty after he pitched an inning in the All-Star Game four days ago.

Key stat: Buehrle needed only 26 total pitches to face 11 Nationals batters through the first three innings.

Up next: Fresh off his All-Star debut, Stephen Strasburg returns to the mound for his first start of the second half. He'll face Marlins right-hander Ricky Nolasco at 1:10 p.m.

46 comments:

peric said...

No mention of Ian Desmond in pain making a pretty good imitation of Zim with the shoulder problem ... watching called third strikes.

Fear and Ignorance said...

Who plays SS when Desmond goes on the DL?

Secret wasian man said...

Is there nobody to bat for flores. Espy Bryce and Morse. OPEN YOU EYES. Why cant we play Bernadina intead of More??

Swift Eagle said...

Ian has played every inning at SS I believe...no clue who the back up is

He looked fine diving into first and turning the DP..

The last called strike on him was a filthy pitch

peric said...

Is there nobody to bat for flores. Espy Bryce and Morse. OPEN YOU EYES. Why cant we play Bernadina intead of More??

Maybe because the last time I OPENED THEM Moore was batting .315? And what his Bernadina hitting? And what happened when they DID start him earlier? FAIL. Again. FAIL.

Bernadina appears to have found his niche right now ... as a left-handed bench bat and defensive replacement. That is proven by the fact the Davey Johnson now regularly calls upon him instead of Rick Ankiel! Doh!

ehay2k said...

Yes - Desi looked like he was not himself. Gotta believe the obliques is worse than he's letting on. Maybe he should have had a cortisone shot during the ASB? ;-)

Gio looked sharp. The hitters, well, not so much. I did think for a moment that ALR's blast in the 9th would make it out. Just another reason to dislike this ballpark, er, stadium.

Also kudos to Bernadina. Really seems to have latched on to the PH role.

peric said...

Who plays SS when Desmond goes on the DL?

Danny Espinosa would be the best candidate with Lombardozzi moving to second base.

Swift Eagle said...

Hey Jack, a post game concert last night and it sounds like indoor fireworks tonight!! What's going on down there? Can barely hear Charlie and Dave on the post game!

mick said...

peric said...
Who plays SS when Desmond goes on the DL?

Danny Espinosa would be the best candidate with Lombardozzi moving to second base.

remember Espi is actually a better ss

mick said...

Morse needs to get going. He has become an automatic out and a dP machine

sjm308 said...

No to the cortisone to an abdominal region (oblique). It's too broad an area and no chance it would work. He either plays through this or takes the 15 days of rest. Nobody was complaining yesterday. Just when we lose.

If you want to look at a suspect, look to Morse. He has done absolutely nothing in these first two games. We can't have a cleanup hitter going O"fer and expect to win.

Looking for SS to right the ship although Gio certainly did not do anything to hurt our chances. Have to think the Mets are done and it is now a two team race.

Go Nats!!

mick said...

if Desmond and Burnett have to go DL, this where the Nats have to be careful. We have to hope other players start producing

mick said...

sjm.. I keep saying the Mets will fade. Nats have a chance Mon-Wed to put some distance from the Mets

mick said...

with Desi hurt, Brunett hurt and Ryan Z on cortisone, and with Strass shut down, maybe 2012 should just be a trial run to get into post season and 2013 the year Nats go for a championship,

the injury situation could be more serious than we think

NatsLady said...

sjm308, don't think that's true. People been worried about Desi for at least a month since word came out he was hurt. Double worry when he skipped the ASG. Just, he looked like he was in real pain that last at-bat. Also, never bunts, suddenly he's bunting?

Fear and Ignorance said...

Desmond looked like Roy Hobbs in that last AB. I thought they were going to take him out of the game in the middle of the AB. He is definitely hurting.

JaneB said...

Worried about Desi. I guess Lombo is the utility guy so he'd step in, not Espi. We need to pull away from Atlanta and win tomorrow.

NatsJack in Florida said...

No Derek...they did open the roof which is something they do after every game. But I can tell
you, two days of this Latin stuff is more than this guy can handle.

I think I'm going to wear ear plus tomorrow.

NatsJack in Florida said...

plugs.

Swift Eagle said...

I believe Roy Hobbs homered in that last at bat (in the movie anyway)...

Why they pitched to him with a base open in that situation I'll never know...

peric said...

Worried about Desi. I guess Lombo is the utility guy so he'd step in, not Espi. We need to pull away from Atlanta and win tomorrow.

No JaneB,

For one or two games yes. For an extended period of time. If Desmond does go on the DL? Danny Espinosa is a natural shortstop perhaps even more so than Desmond and Lombardozzi's safest spot on the infield for any extended period of time is second base.

That is just the way it is.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Lombardozzi plays short for anything more than 3 innings the Nats are in serious trouble.

peric said...

And Davey needs to step in right about now and put the guy on the DL. He is looking like LaRoche did last year.

As for Morse sjm308, he and his hamstring were looking pretty bad just before the break ... he looks a little better albeit his speed afoot is still way down. He's still sore but at least he doesn't look so much like Adam Dunn or Adam LaRoche running. I'd give a week or two and then he too may need more DL time.

Swift Eagle said...

Id rather see Zimmerman at SS than Lombo...Agree that it would have to be Espi...I used to see him play SS at Potomac, hopefully he's improved since...

peric said...

I used to see him play SS at Potomac, hopefully he's improved since...

Most say Desmond was worse when he played there. Espinosa's glove improved remarkably in AA and AAA. And in the majors. He'll be fine at shortstop and it might improve his hitting. Giving him something new to think about might make him more relaxed at the plate.

peric said...

Desmond must have put everything out to reach the finish line, the All Star break and a rest. The 4 day rest wasn't enough he may need more. Definitely should be examined like Zim was last year.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Morse isn't hurt. He's in the same messed up mind frame at the plate that he gets in to from time to time.

He's guessing off speed and watching fastballs go by and guessing fastball and swinging at pitches that are off speed.

And hw carries it out to the field. After both ending inning K's, you could see him grumbling to himself.

NatsJack in Florida said...

he.

sjm308 said...

OK, I agree that Desmond is hurting and maybe the DL is the best bet - If so, I agree with Peric that Espinosa is the ONLY choice. Still think that Morse is not recovered and we need something to happen in the heart of our order.

I hate to be late to the party but earlier, I thought for sure you guys were saying that Grienke was signed/traded to the Braves. I can't find that anywhere. Am I going crazy?

Swift Eagle said...

You're right Jack, Morse just gets messed up at times...He's an odd dude anyway, probably breathing out of the wrong eyelid or something....

NatsJack in Florida said...

Desmond IS THE ONLY CHOICE at shortstop. As an injury replacement for Desmond, he has been since he showed up.

Swift Eagle said...

Christian Guzman is not walking through that door...

peric said...

Desmond IS THE ONLY CHOICE at shortstop. As an injury replacement for Desmond, he has been since he showed up.

Not if he's injured. Certainly Espinosa is a good choice to play shortstop, far better than Jerry Hairston Jr. at third base for Zimmerman all those games. He was pretty bad at times there ... have to figure all of that time in the minors spent playing shortstop, as well as college, now benefits the Nats if Espinosa moves over while Desmond recovers.

peric said...

Christian Guzman is not walking through that door...

Well, there is Carlos Rivero but he's been at third base for the most part in Syracuse. Me thinks its Espinosa period.

Swift Eagle said...

Who is the regular SS in Syr? They don't have a SS listed on the roster...

NatsJack in Florida said...

I have no idea what that last poster was talking about. "Not if he's injured"? What the heck is that all about?

peric said...

Who is the regular SS in Syr? They don't have a SS listed on the roster...

Josh Johnson who is just returning from the DL, albeit Rivero could to it but they have kept him at third base. After Johnson? Why it would Seth Bynum former Expo along with Desmond and Bernadina.

Ask Natsjack who he'd rather see at shortstop, Seth Bynum or Steve Lombardozzi. ~smiles~

Nattering Nat said...

On Morse, remember he raised his batting average by about 70 points shortly before the ASB, but missing those 50 games messed up his spring training and his timing. He had just gotten it back, then the four-day break came. He's got to gear up again, and it's harder to do when you barely got into a groove only recently. Plus, the nagging hammie doesn't help. Not an apologist for him, but trying to understand and explain.

The main risk is that he starts stressing out and never finds his stride again. This is one place where Davey earns his reputation, so I'm hoping he talks to him and keeps him on an even keel, since we need him.

peric said...

L have no idea what that last poster was talking about. "Not if he's injured"? What the heck is that all about?

@AdamKilgoreWP: Desmond looked to me to be in some pain after one swing in his last at-bat. He insisted he's fine, winced because he was upset he chased.

Add in FP Santangelo saying basically the same thing throughout the game?

What the hell are you talking about?

Kirbs said...

I havnt read other comments yet, but I believe Danny is the back up shortstop when we lose dezi. He looks rough....so dezi to the DL and storen off?.....it seems morse can't see the ball in the stadium. He isn't flinching at stuff down the middle...

peric said...

This is one place where Davey earns his reputation, so I'm hoping he talks to him and keeps him on an even keel, since we need him.

As an aside yesterday, and on the radio today Davey did mention that he thought Morse had a bad game. I think he noticed.

peric said...

He looks rough....so dezi to the DL and storen off?.

DeRosa would be the UTL if Lombo moved to second while Desmond recovers. My guess would be that Corey Brown would get the call again. If Desmond's injury is not something short-term (like Zim last year) its likely Rivero since he is already on the 40-man. Mark Teahen isn't on the 40-man but he is a possibility. Marerro is another right-handed bat on the 40-man but he is now on the DL in Syracuse.

NatsJack in Florida said...

At least Seth Bynum can man the postion defensivley.... Certainly MUCH better than Lombo.

But anybody that thinks Seth Bynum is an option knows absolutely nothing about the organization.

peric said...

But anybody that thinks Seth Bynum is an option knows absolutely nothing about the organization..

In other words: NOT an option at shortstop. Don't even think about it.

Joseph said...

It is the trading deadline, guys. I know we're not supposed to be willing to part with top prospects, but a youngish shortstop as a backup might not be too bad of an idea. Another infielder wouldn't hurt, so this could also be a long-term thing for us. Just have him replace DeRosa.

UnkyD said...

NatsJack:
Desmond IS THE ONLY CHOICE at shortstop. As an injury replacement for Desmond, he has been since he showed up.
.............
What does this mean? Initially I thought you meant to say Espi was the only choice, but you usually correct your typos, toot suite. Then you got in somebody's grill for commenting on it....

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